Romance Books

Book Review – Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid


friends without benefitsThere are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she’s unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.


4 out of 5 stars


I read book 1 in the Knitting in the City series 3 years ago, and to be honest, I have no idea why I waited so long to read book 2.  I read all of the Winston Brothers books and loved them, so I decided to go back to this series.  Thank goodness I did.

Friends Without Benefits is the story of Elizabeth Finney, a medical doctor in Chicago.  While doing rotations, she comes face to face with her childhood nemesis, Nico Manganiello.  It turns out Nico’s niece is suffering from Cystic Fibrosis and is eligible for a clinical trial that Elizabeth’s hospital is running.

Nico is the star of a popular show on Comedy Central.  He’s known everywhere for being a funny guy.  Elizabeth remembers him as the boy who tormented her during her youth.  He even created the nickname “Skinny Finney”, which stuck through most of her childhood.  Turns out that Elizabeth’s first love, Garrett, was Nico’s best friend.

Nico has been in love with Elizabeth forever.  Elizabeth can’t believe it.  She says Nico picks on her, makes fun of her and makes her life hell.  She calls foul.  Of course he is.  Boys are dumb.  They don’t know how to act around girls.  And of course, girls think they are just mean.

I’m going to say right now – Elizabeth was kind of a bitch for about 80% of this book.  She pissed me off.  She was mean, self-obsessed and annoying.  There were several times I wondered what the hell Nico saw in her.  She totally redeemed herself at the end.

Nico, on the other hand, was amazing.  He was sweet, funny and super patient.  There were a few points that he made me mad too.  But he was just great.  Great guy.  Only thing that could have made this better was if the book was told in both Elizabeth and Nico’s POV (we get Nico in the epilogue only).

In terms of the book itself, the book was a little long.  There were a few storylines that weren’t really closed or wrapped up (especially at the end), but I really like the ladies from the knitting club and I’ve already borrowed book 3 from the library.

I would recommend.

Happy reading.


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